@GoddessFish, @Archaeolibrary, @stempertoncrow,
Here is a nest egg of memories and anecdotes teased from a life uplifted by an appreciation of the natural world.
Memories of childhood in rural England, raising a family in Orkney and Lincolnshire, and retirement in Northern Scotland are threaded together into a broad tapestry of the natural year. These experiences meet with a view of Earth's uncertain future to illustrate the necessity for respect of all lifeforms and shares a passion for the wellbeing of this planet with all generations.
Child of the Earth is a source of inspiration and delight - a literary garland of hope.
Growing against the friendly grey stone wall of our garden is a perfect Mothers’ Day gift of 2013. Dog roses. They are new but already showing great promise. The rose, in all its forms, has always pleased me – except, perhaps, for the poor blue rose which no one has been able to perfect. No matter how intricate a breeding programme is set up, it is a sad reflection on human intervention in the natural world. Not as sad as hunting animals to extinction but, even so, it makes one ponder.
Opening up to the world is scary. When I first joined social media, I was anxious. I had lots of advice about what not to do and I started off being very cautious. I wasn't far into the thing when I realised I was just too tightly buttoned up. If this was to be a developmental thing, I had to undo a few buttons. I assessed the situation and decided I would follow my heart. Sounds a bit corny, but the only way I could relax on social media was by sharing what is important to me. I shared photos and then I started to write a blog. The first blogs were all about my childhood in rural North Lincolnshire. My daughter edited the twelve monthly blogs, I added another two previously unpublished blogs, and we made a book, Child of the Isle. It has been a joy to watch its success.
That was in 2018. In 2019, I, along with another daughter as illustrator, published the first in the series of the Rosie Jane books for children. (The second is due out at the end of this year.)
I had published my memoir and a children's book in rhyme. My first series of blogs was complete. I didn't want to stop there though. I decided to start another series of blogs - again with a view to later publishing it as a book. This didn't happen. I am still writing the same series of blogs - one a month since September 2018. They are called What's It Like Up There? and started out as thoughts on my present life in Caithness, making comparisons with other places I've lived - especially in rural Lincolnshire. I have made the decision to keep up the blogs, which are read across the world, but not to use them for a book.
Because my great passion is for the natural world, I just couldn't help myself! So my What's It like Up There? blogs have taken on an environmental flavour. I shamelessly include elements which are meant to a) identify with persons of equal passion and b) inform readers of the problems we face on this planet, and my take on the future.
The blogs are woven lightly with these threads - but I wanted to do something to help in the struggle to preserve this wonderful world for future generations. So I wrote my third book.
Child Of The Earth has been a long time coming. I thought of it some time ago, but it has been driven recently by the destructive intransigence of capitalism across the globe - and by the birth of my first grandchild in January 2019. I have watched the denuding of the countryside, the destruction of cultures and the disappearance of entire species with distress.
But I would not despair. I would take up my bed and walk. I know what I believe, and I know that my faith empowers me to make a difference. I'm not wealthy so I can't pour money into environmental projects. I can't tell people how to live their lives. But I can write.
I have lived my whole life with a deep love of the natural world. I know there are people out there who share my passion. There are plenty of nature writers, but I don't believe there is one like me! But what I have done in Child Of The Earth is so simple. I have taken memories, diary entries, journals and short pieces I submitted to another daughter's online magazine, all supported by recent research, and made them into a book. Yet another daughter (I have five - and one son - and they all write) is my illustrator for Child Of The Earth. She is also my editor. The book is designed to connect with those who share my passion, those who are curious and those who wish to use the content to generate interest in the environment. Child Of The Earth is for The Children Of The World. Whatever age, whatever faith, whatever colour. This book is for them.
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Susan grew up in the Isle of Axholme, which inspired the Crowvus best-seller, Child of the Isle. She has a deep love of nature which is apparent in all her writing from the poems she has had published in various anthologies, to her 2020 release, Child of the Earth.
Susan released Rosie Jane and the Swodgerump as part of the John O’Groats Book Festival. This story was written and inspired by raising her six children in Orkney. After moving to England for a while, Susan finally returned to North Scotland in 2009, and continues to write her monthly blogs, What’s It Like Up There?
Her latest book, Child of the Earth, is a nature companion, drawn from her own experiences throughout her life. It provides a colourful telling of Susan’s encounters with nature, told with a style which makes it accessible to all readers.
Child of the Earth Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086P6PM5W/
Child of the Earth Crowvus Shop: https://www.crowvus.com/shop